Sunday, April 21, 2013

Twists and twirls as flags unfurl . . . spinning us forward with new pride.

The events of last week—the twin bombs at the Marathon Finish Line and the stranger-than-fiction manhunt that culminated in the arrest of suspect #2 — have left many of us feeling our allegiance to the flag greatly renewed. As people look away from their electronic devices and toward eye-to-eye contact and real time conversation with strangers, family members, and friends, the sense of community grows. Annoyances of New England blizzards, scorching summer days, and massive traffic jams suddenly pale in the light of our newly invigorated Patriotic emotions. Patriot's Day will surely never be the same as the war zone came home.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Boston bruised . . . but not broken

As the days pass since Monday's war zone on Boylston Street, the emotions I sense around me seem to have moved from rage to a deep sadness. Before the attacks, whenever I rode the T, I was amazed at how 85% of the passengers communed with their handheld electronic devices, either texting, tweeting, or playing games, or sometimes talking out loud to someone on the other end of their cell. Strangers sat side by side lost in their little screens. Sounds around them were muffled by whatever chosen sounds filled their individual ear buds.

Yesterday, however, and today I noticed that more people were talking to each other and that the mesmerized postures of eyes glued to electronica was greatly reduced. There was a palpable difference as each of us tried to absorb and make some sense out of the events near the finish line on April 15. This was not something we wanted to tune out, nor could we, and so we reached out to each other in real time, face to face, in conversation.

The interfaith service today challenged Boston's capacity to reawaken to each other, to move beyond the automatic default of our addictions to our electronic devices that can keep us living in an insular, separated way. Hopefully, the events of April 15, together with the stirring speeches we heard this morning have awakened us from the dreamscape of our own inertia of habitual movement away from community, away from intimacy.
As the "crime scene" shrinks the sidewalks begin to open up once again.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

From bouyant anticipation to anguish

When I posted those happy photos of marathon hopefuls on April 14, like the subjects in my photos, I had no idea of the horror that was going to strike my neighborhood. Away for the weekend, I became aware of the attacks only after receiving a call from a concerned friend who asked if I was OK and then told me about the explosions near the finish line. I stayed glued to the TV for the next few days.

Last night when I got off the commuter rail at Yawkee Station I walked to my apartment which is just outside the "crime scene." It wasn't until early this morning when I tried to go to Trader Joe's and to view the results of the attack that I was still banned from entering the zone. The images I am posting today were just a tiny bit of what I saw. The paper (above) taped to the fence at the corner of Massachusetts Ave. and Boylston St. was the first thing I saw. I was able to enter the Prudential center from the Huntington Avenue side and from the food court looking out toward Boylston I could see that all the stores, including Trader Joe's and Staples were all closed.

Later this morning I'll be heading to North Station and boarding another commuter line to Andover. I'm sure I'll see many signs of Boston's current state of heightened security.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

If you start at the finish line does it count?

As I left town for a weekend in the suburbs, I walked past many ambitious marathoners who sported yellow Addidas sponsored plastic bags from their shoulders—the sign that they had picked up their badges and other gear at the Hynes. Since I let some Marathon friends from Atlanta use my Boston digs, I headed West on the Framingham commuter line along with many more runners who were on their way to lodgings closer to Hopkington and the true starting point.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Spring in Boston? Almost, but not quite . . .

Today was warm and yet there were still cool breezes and I needed my down vest to be sure I didn't get chilled. I collected these images over the last three days which spanned bright sun with very cold air, followed by a little warmer air each day. I especially like the not-quite-spring image of the guy with summer shorts and bare legs on the bottom half and his ski jacket on the top. I was grateful that the boiler was still firing up in my building that day when I got back from my walk. Pretty soon things will change almost overnight and it will be time to drag out last year's air conditioner,  prop it in the window, and hope it takes me through however many heat waves are in store. Speaking of "waves," I've included a shot from the ocean of Red Sox Nation fans who flowed past my window for opening day at Fenway on Monday.
We know it's spring when the bikes appear.

Californians get this year round
but for us it's a treat even if we have to keep the coats on.